DES MOINES, Iowa — On Tuesday evening the Des Moines School Board plans to act on two resolutions clarifying the district’s stance on refugees and immigrants in response to recent executive orders signed by President Donald Trump.
The first resolution concerns the president’s order temporarily banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim African nations. The Trump administration says the three-month halt in allowing refugees from those countries is in order to allow a review of US policy on vetting refugees.
Des Moines Public Schools officials say more than 4,000 of its students were born outside of the U.S., including 250 of its students are from the seven nations under President Trump’s order. With that fact in mind, the district will consider a resolution establishing school grounds as “sanctuaries” for those students. The resolution states that the school will comply with requests made by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials as long as they follow proper channels.
That would require ICE to first contact the Superintendent for permission to proceed on school grounds. Once the Superintendent has consulted with district legal counsel a decision will be made about whether or not ICE will be allowed onto school grounds. The resolution also reminds DMPS staff that they are not allowed to inquire into the immigration status of students or their family members or guardians.
The second resolution would voice support for the thousands of students across the state who are allowed to be in the U.S. thanks to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. That program allows children brought to the U.S. illegally, commonly known as “dreamers”, to remain in the U.S.
A press release from DMPS states that school districts in other cities including Minneapolis, St. Paul, Los Angeles, Nashville, Albuquerque, Denver, Pittsburgh, Portland and San Diego have passed similar resolutions.
The Des Moines School Board meets on Tuesday, February 6th at 6:00pm at Central Campus.